We are at an inflection point in healthcare. The well-being of our communities and the financial stability of healthcare organizations heavily rely on adequately staffed hospitals and medical facilities. However, despite the conclusion of the public health emergency caused by the pandemic, staffing challenges persist. In our report, The Future of Work: Redefining the Role of Physicians in the Gig Economy, we delve into the challenges faced by healthcare administrators and explore potential solutions.
There are three areas I would like to point out as major contributors to our current staffing crisis:
Early Retirements—Physicians are retiring at younger ages. Look at the data broken out by age: 11% of clinicians not practicing are under the age of 40, 12% are in their 40’s and 15% are in their 50’s. Those are traditionally seen as peak earning periods for physicians, but the data shows a growing reluctance to practice medicine in a traditional setting, despite a significant educational and financial investment.
Burnout—Burnout is an ongoing challenge for practice managers and hospital administrators, however, discerning whether a clinician is grappling with burnout is not a straightforward matter of answering a simple 'yes' or 'no'. There are levels of burnout that determine how likely the physician is to step away from the profession. In our report, 40% of clinicians self-reported that they were at least moderately burned out. With 17% of respondents saying, “significantly or completely burned out.” This accounts for a staggering portion of the physician workforce.
Quest for Flexibility— Our survey found that 61% of practicing physicians are likely to look for a new position in the next year. A quarter of which cited dissatisfaction with their current level of flexibility as the reason for wanting a change.
Recently, I joined a Modern Healthcare panel, Workplace of the Future Virtual Briefing. Gwynneth Chandler, Senior Manager at Eagle Hill Consulting and Jennifer Miller, Principal at Huron joined the panel and shared these valuable insights:
We Cannot Go Back
The pandemic has had a profound impact on workforce thinking, leading to significant changes in how individuals and organizations approach work, and forcing the implementation of new tools, technologies, and strategies.
We need to be more agile to navigate these challenges and consistently provide high-quality care for our patients.
Hospitals and medical practices are under considerable financial strain. Despite increased expenditures, administrators grapple with the ongoing challenge of adequately staffing their facilities.
Healthcare organizations are implementing changes to create sustainable staffing models, but too often initiatives fall short.
Effective change management is essential for organizations to adapt, navigate uncertainties, and achieve desired outcomes.
The workplace of the future is here. We are adapting and finding ways to deliver quality care to patients and improve the experience for our clinicians. A sustainable solution requires flexibility and the right staffing model.
The full Workplace of the Future Virtual Briefing is available to watch on demand for those seeking insights during an unprecedented time in healthcare staffing.
About the author
Chris Franklin serves as president of LocumTenens.com. With nearly two decades in healthcare and technology staffing experience, Franklin leads the LocumTenens.com team as they partner with clients to deliver innovative solutions that increase access to care and provide value to patients. He lives in Milton, Ga. with his wife and three daughters.